Plan Your Creative Year Now!

SYW150 – More Hope with Brandi Kincaid

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

January 4, 2022

Brandi Kincaid has always been a maker. And in this season of life she’s added “hope dealer” to her title. In this episode you’ll hear about Brandi’s journey as a creative, how she maintains “porous boundaries,” and her wish for all of us in the New Year. This is a generous and thoughtful conversation that will stay with you.

Links Mentioned

Brandi Kincaid 0:00

Extravagant Hope to me is stubborn hope. It's the kind of hope that like puts on a feather boa and marches out into the street, even though it's pouring rain, and no one's going to see you and all your gorgeous garb. It is the kind of hope that pushes back on the reality that life is just really hard. It just it's really hard. And I mean that even pre pandemic like it is hard to be a human and in very different ways for different people. And so Extravagant Hope, doesn't offer some magic solution. It says, hey, there are things that are ordinary life when we pay attention, and are present to ourselves and to the people in our community. Whether that be in person or online, that can help get us through.

Jennifer Wilson 0:52

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a Memory Keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is episode 150. In this episode, I'm joined by Brandi Kincaid for a heartfelt conversation about boundaries and hope for makers, crafters and creative spirits.

Jennifer Wilson 1:20

Hey, Brandi Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

Brandi Kincaid 1:23

Hey, thanks so much for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:25

I am just thrilled to be having this conversation. I feel so fortunate to get to talk to you because I am inspired on the daily by your work. And I can't wait for our audience to get to know you better if there's anyone that doesn't know who you are. Can you start by sharing just a little bit about yourself?

Brandi Kincaid 1:42

Yeah, so I live with my husband and our small dog. Augie Roo in Bellingham, Washington, which is north of Seattle, and pretty much at the Canadian border. We've lived out here for a little over a decade, we're actually from the East Coast. So I'm not sure if I consider myself a Pacific Northwestern person. But we really love it out here. My husband works in public transport. And I work for myself. I'm so used to saying that I work as a freelance illustrator. But that's kind of changed this past year. And I just haven't had someone ask me since that shifted. So I just worked for myself. And one day a week I work at our local museum of art and history.

Jennifer Wilson 2:31

Oh, how delightful. I'm curious what label you might put on yourself now, then. What labels are you toying with?

Brandi Kincaid 2:41

Yeah, I think that I'm trying to bust out of some of the labels. And I'm a maker and a share. And those are two really basic core pieces of what I do. I mean, essentially right now, I'm a hope dealer. I deal in hope, and the nitty gritty is that I have a business where I do subscription and one off mailers every single month. So concretely, I design and print to produce something that I send to people through the mail. But in a bigger sense, I like to think that I'm I mean, it's a hope dealer, is that a thing you can be? It's, I don't want to be a drug dealer, but I feel like a hope dealer is something that I feel pretty comfortable with.

Jennifer Wilson 3:26

I think that's brilliant. And that should be in your Instagram tagline. So we love to ask our guests what is exciting you right now. So no, you're no longer actively scrapbooking, but some of you, some of our listeners may know you as having been a scrapbooker and design scrapbook products. So what is inspiring you right now and exciting you?

Brandi Kincaid 3:48

Yeah, two things are really catching my attention right now. One is, I am really loving the new Awesome Ladies Project app. That community of storytellers that has been produced and is kind of being fostered with those creatives who are sharing what they're doing outside some of the normal platform. So you know, just Instagram and things like that. I really love seeing anyone create something new. That is scary, but tied to the core of like, who they want to be in the world. And so seeing that project come to life is really inspiring. And the other thing that's really this is less concrete, but I'm noticing it everywhere is people really blurring the lines and boundaries of how they define what they do. And so someone who said You know, I really just do Project Life pocket page memory, keeping that type of thing. And then I used to do scrapbooking and it was very compartmentalized. And I'm watching people bend and shift and include art journaling and different forms of like memory planning, and really allowing themselves to explore these different avenues with how they're telling the stories without feeling like they are having to change their identity completely to do it. So the fluidity of of how we're embracing, how our stories need to be told differently, depending on what season we're in that's really, really inspiring to me.

Jennifer Wilson 5:19

Yes. And that is 1,000,000% why I wanted to have you on this particular series of episodes on why we're creating the series about more in 2022. Of, you know, exploring these things that maybe we're we're craving or needing, and we're wanting to maybe experiment with and figure out how does that fit into our values and our vision and our identity. So Yay, I'm so excited. You mentioned story. So what is on your story Bucket List? So these are typically deeper, more meaningful things that, you know, even the non scrapbooker out there always feels like, I really need to make sure this thing gets captured for the future.

Brandi Kincaid 6:03

So I am someone who doesn't shy away from the deeper, more meaningful, especially harder stories, the heavier ones. And so I was thinking about this, knowing that this is something that you like to ask, and for me, it's not so much a story, I'm not sure I have a lot of rocks that have been left unturned. So there will be new things that happen that I will need to tell. For. For me, my really boring Bucket List is finding a way to keep braver boundaries so that I'm able to share my heart in a less guarded way, essentially, to be able to give more of what I want to give. So instead of starting to tell a story about holding back a little bit, because I think it will be too much, or too something for someone else, really trusting that even if it is, it's important for me to tell it. And it's important for me to tell it in the way I need to tell it. So I think there are more smaller stories that would be on my kind of like, Bucket List of stories to tell that I just want to tell more fully and more bravely with less guarding or apprehension about how it's being received and more just embracing how I get to deliver it.

Jennifer Wilson 7:22

Oh, wow, that is so powerful. Because I know. So often, when I'm sharing things on Instagram, there's, there's things that I want to say. But sometimes it feels putting too much of the spotlight on me that I'm trying to get attention, when really I would just hope that somebody is one could learn from my own experience. So there's such a, you know, a delicate balance there.

Brandi Kincaid 7:46

Yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 7:49

So maybe we can kind of, before we go forward here and talk about what you're doing right now. And maybe where you see yourself going. Can you share a little bit more about your creative journey to, to where, how you got to this place today of being a hope dealer.

Brandi Kincaid 8:07

So I have always been a maker. I grew up in a family of creative people, my mother could do anything. And she did. I mean, she just took up hobbies and projects and was really inspired to live with her hands in the world. And so was her mother. So that has been a part of my foundation from the very start. I always like to say that their big push was if you need something or you want something, then you need to make it. We weren't going to just go to the store and buy something, you were going to have to bring it to life. And so growing up with that nudge towards curiosity and creativity, I really never felt some of the boundaries around what I could do. It was all an option. It was more just what I was willing to give my time to. And so that has shifted over the years. Obviously, some of it hasn't. I mean, I've always been a writer of some form, and pursued art in some way. But then around 2013, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and I was across the country and you know, going to visit and spending time with her and watching her daily life change completely just her normal ins and outs. And me being a creature of routine and habits so much and needing those, the consistency of those habits. I really started to pay attention to how important it was to tell those daily kind of stories to write it down and to embrace and appreciate them. So I started doing Project Life and really enjoyed that process and found a great community there of people who are telling stories and spun that off into doing scrapbooking in every different form. I don't know if there's like a size or form that I haven't tried digital and hybrid and physical. And that really kept me in good stead for a long time because I did lose her, she passed away in 2016. And it gave me a way to tell the stories I needed to tell in my own voice during a really challenging time. So I kept memory keeping through all of that. And I didn't decide to take a break until goodness 2019 or 2020. Of course, I'm still telling stories, there's if you are a storyteller, you will always find a way to tell your story. The form's just look a little bit different now.

Jennifer Wilson 10:50

I'm curious if that decision was pre pandemic, or during pandemic.

Brandi Kincaid 10:56

It was actually pre pandemic. I was on a number of design teams, really beautiful, great ones. And was also designing a lot of scrapbooking and paper crafting products. And what I started to notice for me is that I was beginning to feel a tug, or a shift away from needing and wanting to telling to tell my own stories. And for, for me for the purpose of recording them and having them to go back to and being really honest on the page. And doing it as part of a job or feeling the tug of what someone else really wanted to see. You know, people really like this format, or they're used to you doing it in this way. And so I was tugged more towards that. And I really lost a little bit of my grounding in it, about why I was doing it and what kind of stories I wanted to tell. And so I just thought, it's okay to take a break. I do want to say that it was not that easy. I didn't just suddenly say it's okay to take a break. I thought about taking a break for a while before I did. And then once I did, it was like, Okay, I remember that we can make changes, and it doesn't stop what we do, it changes the way it comes out. So it was definitely pre pandemic. But I'm sure that that helps solidify that amount of time because I took on other projects having more time at home.

Jennifer Wilson 12:24

Yes, whenever you know, they say when you close a door, another window opens. Right? So I'm terrible with idioms. But can you share more about what you're passionate about creating right now. So as you've made this shift, like now, like where is your focus?

Brandi Kincaid 12:42

So I do a number of different types of creative work right now. One is my journal. So right now I'm using a format of a square I think it's like, but it's a eight by eight. I do it in a watercolor sketchbook because I often like to add watercolor to my pages. And so I always start with a watercolor base, whether I'm finding my own books or buying them from someone else. That way, no matter what, I know that the paper will hold the paint. If it doesn't, it's still really gorgeous paper. And so I'm happy to have that in my hands. I'm really tactile person. So I journal. And they are no pressure kind of pages. So I include scraps of things that came in the mail. So someone sent me a card, but the envelope was gorgeous, or the stamps on it were gorgeous, or catalog came, and I was really inspired by some of the colors on it. Quotations that I'm loving, I record actual, like long form journaling about how I'm feeling what's going on. I am never looking to make it. You can't see air quotes, quote unquote, pretty, it's not meant to be polished, it's meant to kind of allow myself to tumble out on the page. It is absolutely memory keeping, but just in a very different form. There are some pictures here and there, but not a ton of them. But honestly, I'm not a huge picture taker to begin with. And so I like the freedom of knowing that a memory is still a memory, whether it's in a photo or in a sentence. So it's been a good place to embrace that. I also do a lot of art journaling, which has less recording of daily things. I'm not saying like, Oh, we went to the store today and here's what I did. It's more of a recording of just a visual or just a moment, something that inspired me on the page. A little more freeform, I guess I would say those are probably the two biggest ways that I am creatively coming alive and playing and exploring. You know, in my day to day life right now.

Jennifer Wilson 14:54

It sounds like that you've kind of you kind of touched on this with your decision to stop scrapbooking but you very much kind of divided yourself between these are my professional creative endeavors and the types of things that I do. And then these are my personal creative endeavors. And this is like trying to, you know, draw little boxes around that for for various reasons is that is that accurate?

Brandi Kincaid 15:20

I think so I mean, my boxes are porous. So it's like those little cardboard ones with a holes cut out so the pet can breathe inside, in the sense that I'm always pulling from one pool into the other when it comes to energy and inspiration. But when you do something for a living, that's also connected to something that you feel passionate about creatively or a hobby. I do find, I have found out the hard way, how necessary it is to not commodify everything. And so that's a big piece of the boundary, I have this sketchbook like a black and white, I just use a brush pen on a white page, and I draw on it. And I love it because what I pull from it for inspiration later, because I really think there's no way not to. I'm not trying to sell those pages. I'm not trying to scan them in and sell them. I am not selling art journal pages, or there's a line where I don't have to make money off of it, or I don't have to care if anyone likes it, I just have to be present on the page. And that is a really important and freeing part of creating. I think that we have this amazing community now where if you want to grow and sell what you do and make a living from it, that's available to you. And that is just fundamentally awesome. But it can also be overwhelming. And I think it's easy for us to be confused whether or not we want to sell what we do, or we think we really should want to just because someone else wants to buy it. It is a compliment when someone wants to invest what they have in what we do. But it doesn't mean it's one that we have to kind of have come to fruition. You know?

Jennifer Wilson 17:10

Yes, yes. I'm curious if your social media boundaries are as porous or are they more rigid?

Brandi Kincaid 17:20

I think they become slightly more rigid over the last few years, but they are definitely still porous in the sense that I'm a pretty porous person, I'm a very sensitive person. And I don't think there's any way for me to really wall or close things off, and I don't have an interest in it. That said, I know myself very well. So I don't check numbers, I don't check who follows, unfollows, I'm not looking at how many people are liking a post, or commenting on it, or it's not a healthy place for me, some people can do that and do it well and really use it as a tool to help them grow. And I don't begrudge them at all, I am not that person. I am tender hearted. And, you know, I'm pretty much 40 years old. And I know this about myself. And instead of fighting against it, I work with it, which is to say Instagram, or whatever platform I'm choosing to use cannot be a place for me where I'm trying to win, or do really well at it. So all of those tips and tricks and tools that are out there, those are not for me, because I tend to not get anything out of them, I just get really worked up and sad that I haven't you know, reach someone a certain way or have disappointed someone or. So in order to have fun with it and to be able to share honestly, I just make sure that I'm not treating that space as as a business or as a way that I'm trying to just please everyone.

Jennifer Wilson 19:00

Or even as a way to I don't know, fill your, fill your well. Maybe the creating part is what we can't be using social media as a way to validate ourselves.

Brandi Kincaid 19:14

Yes, because there's so much...

Jennifer Wilson 19:16

we are more than the number of likes.

Brandi Kincaid 19:17

We are and there's so much you can't see. Uh, you know, we all just kind of there's so many comments out there about the algorithm and you know, I think about it like this, like big, fuzzy monster that just kind of like running around loose that everyone's chasing. And the the reality is that like, we can't know what's actually going on. And so when we don't know it's easy, because we are storytellers to tell ourselves a story that seems to make sense, which is I didn't get a lot of likes on this. It's not very good. I'm not doing a very good job. I probably shouldn't keep trying this, you know, oh, well, when the real story could be something totally different. And outside of our control, have nothing to do with what someone made, especially those who are just starting out like you make your first scrapbook page. I mean my first scrapbook page was atrocious. It was really special in some very special ways. And...

Jennifer Wilson 19:20

Yeah, I can understand that.

Brandi Kincaid 20:19

You know, if I had been waiting to see how many likes it got to know if I should have kept going, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. And so that work of telling ourselves a different story is really hard to do. And so on times when we can't do it, sometimes it's best to just step away and say, That's not a place where I need to be trying to figure out what's going on, I just need to keep doing what I love to do. And if I want to share it, great. If I don't feel like now's a good time to share stuff, because I can't handle what I might get in response, then maybe it's just for me for a little while.

Jennifer Wilson 20:57

Mm hmm. So knowing that you know yourself so well and you're very kind of in tune to this and you're aware of some of your boundaries. How do you structure your day? Do you have any essential rituals that that support thriving are your creativity?

Brandi Kincaid 21:15

Yeah. So I, I need a lot of alone time, it is probably surprises, no one I do really well, when I've given myself time to just be myself before I figure out what I need to do or be for anyone else. So morning is really important to me, I take a lot of contemplative time, and I have practices that I hold really true. And that includes reading and meditation. And I draw quite a bit again, without any pretense. I'm not drawing anything that I'm going to sell or do something with just, you know, doodling to doodle. And I carve out that time before I do work for anyone else. So that I really just get to sit with myself for a little bit. Before I go out into the world, I also have some contemplative practices that I do on different nights during the week. And that helps kind of give me a little book ends to the day. And that's a filling of my cup. You mentioned earlier, kind of, you know, like what fills you up. Having that quiet time where I'm not trying to juggle all the voices, I can just be with my own. Really helps me to keep that part of myself, even when I'm going into a crowd. And I mean that either physically or metaphorically when I'm going on to social media or something.

Jennifer Wilson 22:40

Sure. I'm curious what advice you might give someone who feels challenged to make the time for those important practices.

Brandi Kincaid 22:50

It's, oh, gosh, it's so hard. Well, first, I want to be really honest, there are days when that practice is 10 minutes, because that's all I could do. And maybe it's 10 minutes, because I ran out of time, forgot. And I actually have to take 10 minutes, because I'm at a little mini breaking point mid morning. And I'm like, why am I so grumpy and unable to work? Well, and it's because I didn't have that time. So it's not always lovely and perfect. But it is just something you have to make a, you have to decide what you're prioritizing. And we all do it. I mean, we give up something, I really, I just so dearly love getting up and watching episodes of Murder She Wrote, it makes me so happy. But it does not set me up for the best day ever. I don't need to be hearing JB Fletcher before I get started with work. And so it's a trade off for me. I, I give up a lot of other things in order to be able to do it, because it's something that I love. Now, the other side of that is I don't have children. I don't have, I'm not working outside of the home right now. I mean, I'm working a lot. This is something that takes a lot of my time. But I also want to be really respectful to the fact that I'm not raising tiny humans or going to a job that is needing a different piece of me. And so sometimes we can't physically, based on our surroundings, make the same kind of choices as someone else. But I do think we still get to decide kind of where we shift some of our energy. And this is where I'm shifting it for myself right now.

Jennifer Wilson 24:30

I appreciate that. You mentioned that. And I think that we all have to that's why sometimes it's so challenging to look at what other people are doing who may not have the exact same circumstances. But we all do have the power to make choices throughout our days and sometimes there will be trade offs. Some of which will, you know, benefit you later down the line. Investing in meditation and creative practice versus Murder She Wrote and sometimes you choose the Murder She Wrote I'm sure.

Brandi Kincaid 25:00

Oh, totally. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yep. Yep. Right now, it's not Murder She Wrote, but it's those really cheesy Christmas movies. I like to watch the first like five or 10 minutes and the last 15. Because that's all you really know, like, tell me, tell me what the problem is like what in? Did you inherit what you know, like what big business meeting do you need to accomplish? And then tell me how you decided to overcome all your differences and fall in love. You know that like dopamine hit of just a problem and a resolution? So that's my that's my like morning. Of course I don't feel guilty about it, pleasure. But it's not the best choice for me all the time. So I don't do it every day.

Jennifer Wilson 25:44

Yeah, I get it. So speaking of you, being a hope dealer, you have this new project, Extravagant Hope. What does it mean to you, and what inspired you to head this direction.

Brandi Kincaid 25:59

So Extravagant Hope, to me is stubborn hope. It's the kind of hope that like puts on a feather boa and marches out into the street, even though it's pouring rain, and no one's going to see you and all your gorgeous garb. It is the kind of hope that pushes back on the reality that life is just really hard. It just, it's really hard. And I mean that even pre pandemic, like it is hard to be a human. And in very different ways for different people. And so Extravagant Hope, doesn't offer some magic solution. It says, hey, there are things in our ordinary life when we pay attention, and are present to ourselves and to the people in our community, whether that be in person or online, that can help get us through. And that's something I really, I hold dear to in my own life. And what has helped me through, you know, grieving the loss of parents, or whatever it is, it's something that allows me to take care of myself and the people around me. And so it's not cute or pretty, it's not easy, necessarily. But it's a practice that is possible, because it's just part of our daily life. So knowing that that's something that it's important for me to cultivate. A few years ago, I created a monthly digital offering in my shop called Extravagant Hope. And I'm still playing with what this could look like, what I really wanted to do was be able to send it to people in the mail. But back then I thought I couldn't ever do that, which makes me laugh now, because I am actually on day two of shipping the November mailer, and so obviously, it can be done. But Brandi back then didn't think it was possible. But I got to write a letter to people every month and to create these digital designs that helps encourage that practice. And now I've just transitioned into being able to bring that to life in a way that I really imagined. Which is actually physically delivering something to someone where they can open it up piece by piece, take some of it in, share a lot of it and feel a little less alone, a little more seen and a little more willing to believe that things can be better.

Jennifer Wilson 28:30

So amazing. I love this example of how you started anyway, even though it wasn't you didn't think you could do the full meal deal to do all the things you wanted to do. But you started. And it was because you had a purpose and a vision behind it. And even if you could never do that it was still valuable, and you wanted to get that message into the world.

Brandi Kincaid 28:55

Yeah, I mean, one thing that I would say is that, from that to now that's like three years in between, so it wasn't like I started anyways and then it like magically worked. And you know, it still took a lot of time for me to figure out and become brave enough to do it. And I think that's applicable to anything. People that want to start a creative project, especially those who are, I remember the earliest days of memory keeping and there's so much available, there are so many different ways it's being done and you're trying to figure out how you want to step your way into it. The first part is what you just said, it's just starting anyways. It's giving it a go and being willing to do it badly before you can be better and then too knowing that it's not necessarily going to blow up as an overnight success. You won't just magically know how to do it and now you have a whole beautiful IKEA shelf full of albums. You know?

Jennifer Wilson 29:50

That's so true. Very true. Now, I love some of your, not some of them, I love all of them. But your, your doodles in the way you create characters just tell me that you have this gift in seeing people and I'm sure your, your sensitivity is part of that. Sometimes it's like these intimate moments or sassy, I might not really say that out loud type of thoughts, or just the uplifting message that they need in the moment. Where do you find inspiration for those characters?

Brandi Kincaid 30:25

I pay attention a lot. And it's not a fancy answer, but it is the most true. I am not always the loudest of people, especially in person. But I'm always listening, I consume a lot, like I take a lot in. And so most of everything comes from paying attention to the world around me, whether that's, I was gonna say listening to someone, but eavesdropping, eavesdropping on someone in the grocery store, at the museum, or the people that walk by your front yard in the morning. Paying attention to what people are posting and writing and commenting on social media, listening to my friends and family as they share where they are in their lives. All of those things like someone will inevitably say, every month when they get their Extravagant Hope. And the note, this is exactly what I needed. How did you know I needed this, and it's not, I'm not magic by any means. I have no perfect words. But the reality is, is that we all we're in that, we're in the same boat. I mean, that boat has very different circumstances, but we feel these things. Now how you take the words and what they mean to you personally, that's something that's, that's so person to person. But the only reason I know to share these words is because I feel them too, or my sister feels them too. Or I heard the woman at the grocery store, while she was packing up my groceries and making conversation say something that reminds me, she feels this as well. The fact that we don't live in little bubbles, no matter how hard we sometimes try to talk ourselves into them. We are universally feeling really big things. And so I'm really inspired by listening to the world and reporting it back in ways that offer someone a different lens.

Jennifer Wilson 32:27

I'm wondering if is that something that you've just always done throughout your whole life? Or did you have to kind of intentionally start noticing.

Brandi Kincaid 32:40

So I think I've always been, I've always been a noticer and an observer. And that's, that's very clear from all of my childhood, like notebooks and diaries. And I was also always the narrator in the school plays or, you know, any kind of, like, if there was a spot for a narrator that was going to be me. Like I was going to be telling someone's story or bringing it, listening to the stories of the people around me. I think that what shifted as I became an adult and started thinking about how I report or reflecting these things back out into the world is I started validating that habit. It wasn't just Oh, I like to eavesdrop. Haha, that's so cute, or oh, that's problematic, I should kind of think about it wasn't just these, you know, like, oh, I, you know, read a lot of books. Or it was the fact that it matters. That those little snippets of overheard conversation in the grocery store, or that thing the woman says to you, in the library kind of offhand, those are really important pieces of who we are to each other in the world. And that's how we build community is we listen and share and pay attention. And so validating those things allowed me to really embrace it, and to feel more comfortable sharing it with other people because it I don't feel like I'm the only one who's gonna think this thing was interesting, or this thing is beautiful. I trust that while someone might think it's interesting or beautiful in a different way than me, they still have space to hold it. That it's it's important for us to pay attention and to share those things with each other. And to do so because sometimes we can't see it because we're so distracted by something going on in the world. Like there are points where even I can't really observe the world because I'm worrying about, you know, my dog hurt his back or medical bill or whatever it is that kind of comes in and distracts you. So thank goodness someone on Instagram has taken a picture of their toast and told me how great this local jam is. And how the woman told her that it was like her grandmother's recipe. It's so seemingly small, but when I can't do that for myself, there's someone else to share that piece. And so embracing that allows me to do it even more often without feeling like it's something that doesn't matter.

Jennifer Wilson 35:09

I just, I just love how you've taken something that was a strength, like a gift of yourself and being able to, as you said, validate it. But just make it part of how you're expressing yourself. I think sometimes we try to, to quash our, you know, our little quirks and weirdness that maybe if they're just they're a little bit more special than the rest of us. And instead of celebrating them and highlighting them and using them to, to grow and to share more authentically, so it's just I love that so much.

Brandi Kincaid 35:45

I want more people to share their quirks, like that is something that I'm like, let's have a little I'll have a little cardboard sign where I'm just like, share your quirks. Share, it lets us feel less alone.

Jennifer Wilson 35:56

100% Yes, I'm curious if there's any illustrations or messages that you've written that you're particularly proud of that really like to stand out that like, I'm so glad I shared this, you know, maybe because it was hard, or just because you thought it was beautiful.

Brandi Kincaid 36:12

Yeah, um, so I have a little I have a, I just call her the pep talk girl. It's essentially me, I drew myself years ago. And it's a sketch. It's a rough, like a digital pencil sketch of myself hollering with a speech bubble over my head. And I didn't use it, I tossed it, I didn't like something about it, and I just moved on. And then when I went back and was going through old files, I found her again. And I think the first thing I ever wrote in the speech bubble was that you should love all your, you should love your roughest drafts the roughest versions of you, because they brought you here. And while I love so many things that I've written in that speech bubble over the years, and so many other things, that was really the beginning of it, because I pulled this piece of art, but to me wasn't very good. I didn't really clean her up, she's the sketchy, little things, she's incomplete. And she tells the most truth. Like she is for me, she's me, but she's not me. She's a place where I can embrace the learning. Because anything, I share anything, I say I have to own the fact that I might change my mind, that I need to be here as human as I am. Which is to say that I'm just really trying to figure things out. And sometimes I figure them out differently as I learn and grow more. But the fact that I can embrace those rough drafts, those versions, really just remind me that I needed them to kind of build into whatever I want to become, just like that really heinous scrapbook page that I told you about. If I hadn't have done all of those, if I hadn't have just kept going, I wouldn't, I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't have the voice that I do. So I really, that's probably one of my favorite pieces is just, you know her in the beginning.

Jennifer Wilson 38:14

Well, and you saved her too. Like, the fact that you're your roughest drafts can inspire something in the future. If you just you know, accept it, and and hold on to it, you know, like it's kind of buried, you know, you know how coal turns into diamonds. It's that kind of thing.

Brandi Kincaid 38:33

Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 38:36

So do you have any advice for our listeners who are listening to us and they're thinking, but I just I struggle to bring some of these inside thoughts and feelings to the outside world? Where would you recommend they get started? Or what, what practices do you think would most benefit them?

Brandi Kincaid 38:53

Yeah, so I have two big ones. The first one is to really be honest with yourself about what's personal and what's private. This is the boundary that I use in my storytelling. I started it with memory keeping, especially when I started doing more design teamwork, and my pieces were seen by more eyes. I don't necessarily create anything that will, that I will share that is that private. You know, that is really it's having to do with my family or something in a way where it's more guarded, or I'm still dealing with it and I haven't figured out like how exactly I feel about it and. But personal things that are, you know, personal to me, I definitely feel empowered to share them because I know someone else needs to hear them. So figuring out what's personal and what's private to you can help people form those boundaries because sometimes it's not so much about what can I tell or how can I tell it? It's deciding where your line is like where you're going to feel comfortable? Because if all you're doing is trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but you really don't have to, that can be really hard. The other piece is to write to yourself. So writing a letter to yourself, and being honest and tender with yourself is one of the best way to tell those heart stories. Because there's a kindness you can offer when you're like, oh, dear Brandi, you had a really bad day, and you yelled at your husband, and it was kind of crummy. But here's how you turn this around. And this is what it looks like to you. Or maybe you didn't turn it around, and you're telling that story. Writing a letter is a way to kind of tell yourself back to yourself. So if you're someone who says, I want to tell the stories I want to tell about these, these feelings and emotions, but I don't know how to do it.Telling yourself that story in a letter and imagining yourself writing it to a friend, because you are your friend. Can really allow you to embrace it, I think. So figuring out your personal and private, and writing yourself a letter. And the last one is to remember that sometimes what stops us is we wonder about who will see it. And so maybe just to embrace that, no one actually has to see this. That you can create and tell all these things, and it never has to go on Instagram, it never needs to. It never actually even needs to leave your craft room or the album that you can do all of these things for you. Not necessarily for the next generation are who you're passing it down to, that these stories can be told even if you're the only one that gets to read them back later.

Jennifer Wilson 41:39

I think that's so important for us to remember and to create special spaces for those types of activities. Because I think we all we all need some of that.

Brandi Kincaid 41:50

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 41:52

So Brandi, can you share where we can find you online, and maybe if you have any thing exciting or new or interesting to share for 2022?

Brandi Kincaid 42:01

Yeah, so I have a website, brandikincaid.com, that I barely ever update, because I'm so busy working on the actual stuff right now. But it is a good landing point to be able to find my Instagram account. And it's also where you can sign up for my email newsletter that I send out once, sometimes twice a month, it's called the Pigeon Post. And that's a really good place to hear about what I'm doing. Because anytime I release something new, I also include it in that newsletter, along with a lot of other things that I'm interested in or inspired in at that moment. I am going to be continuing with Extravagant Hope in 2022. It'll take a few little shifts, just to keep things feeling extravagantly hopeful for those who have like spent a year with me. I'm making a few shifts so that we can just kind of keep growing and being surprised by what hope has to offer. And then move towards some of the other things that I'd really like to be able to include in what I'm doing. But essentially nothing is as grand shifting as was for me this year. I'm just going to be continuing on with a lot of love and of course a lot of hope.

Jennifer Wilson 43:19

Yeah, sometimes that's like that feels like the best thing .Like yes, there's other ideas, things that we could do. But sometimes it what feels the most exciting is to just doing what you're doing and doing it better. And you know, just putting your all into it. So I love that. Yeah, I definitely think that a lot of us that are are feeling that Brandi. This has been so delightful. I feel so fortunate to get to talk to you. Thank you so much.

Brandi Kincaid 43:48

Thank you so much for having me. This was really, really wonderful.

Jennifer Wilson 43:52

And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. Are you ready to start implementing the great ideas you hear on the podcast? The Simple Scrapper membership offers a welcoming space to connect with fellow Memory Keepers and find the creative accountability you've been craving. Visit simplescrapper.com/membership to learn more and join our community. It's the best it's ever been.

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